July 2, 2012
By: John Rossheim, Senior Contributing Writer
As the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act settles in, the healthcare-reform debate shifts back to the states.
The Federal ruling allows states to decide whether to participate in the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, without fear of having their current Medicaid funding cut off, as detailed in Kaiser Health News.
Governors in some states (Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin to date) have said that they may not accept the funds.
These leaders feel pressured by voters to refuse Medicaid expansion, all of which would be paid by the Federal government for the first 7 years; they’re also pressured by healthcare providers to take the Federal money and bring more-low income people into the insurance system, thus reducing hospitals’ burden of providing unreimbursed care. Not to mention adding a revenue stream that could enable providers to hire up.
Meanwhile, also within the Supreme Court decision, states that haven’t already created a health insurance exchange must do so by Jan. 1, 2013, or face the possibility that the government will swoop impose an exchange on them.
Most West Coast and Northeastern states have already created insurance exchanges; most others haven’t acted yet, as this Kaiser Family Foundation map shows.
Ultimately, recruiters could indirectly benefit from health insurance exchanges if affordable insurance brings more customers to providers.